Scottish Community Radio

There’s a great old girl on the Scottish Show

They got an ethnic grant

There’s a tenor now, stretching like black honey

Across wax and seas and silver film credits

Stickiness firming into that melody they all have

The great old girl puts on the wrong tracks and laughs

A bloke comes into the studio to promote a community event

With a sausage sizzle and the whole bit

The great old girl laughs along with his hopeless delivery

He’s a bit like a grilled sausage himself; one that’s been in the fridge

And he’s possibly gay

Then she puts on the Pipes & Drums of the 1st Battalion, Black Watch

Especially for Keith in Merrylands, and she blurts in

Over the first bars of The Black Bear and re-announces

“This is for Keith from Merrylands”

Then she reads the fastest history lesson ever given

On the history of Clan Cameron

Then she puts on some Andy Stewart saying how

“Oh, we do all have a spot for Andy Stewart…”

Only it’s not Andy Stewart but some miscellaneous

Hair-oiled alcoholic or recovering alcoholic who, undaunted

Sings of savagery and eagles

The great old girl laughs as she lines up her Andy Stewart song

She cannot know what ‘preciousness’ really means

She’s just like another great old girl around here

Who has a dog named Angus

I sometimes meet them on dog walks

She sounds to me like she has no fear of death

No paranoia, no pretending to hate the English or the Chinese

For all this crazy cabaret shortbread tin nostalgia

She is cleanly, brightly in the unguarded present tense

She’s a working steam engine

In the museum of her radio show

 

Will Swan

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